Paul Douglas On Weather
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Wednesday Snowfall

Wednesday morning's snow brought several inches of accumulation across central Minnesota. The highest reports were 5.7" near Long Prairie and 5.5" near Garfield. Closer to the metro, up to 2" fell around St. Cloud, with half an inch officially at MSP airport.


Sunny And Near Freezing Thursday

After Wednesday's snow across the region, we'll be drier and sunny throughout the day in the metro. Clouds will start to increase by the evening hours as our next system approaches - more on that in a moment. Morning temperatures will start off in the low teens with highs climbing to around 30F.

Mainly sunny skies are expected Thursday across much of the state, however, clouds will be on the increase into the afternoon and evening hours across southern and central Minnesota with precipitation moving in during the evening. Highs will range from the teens in northwestern Minnesota to the low 30s in southern parts of the state.


Snow And Freezing Rain Thursday Night Into Friday

As we head into Thursday Night and Friday morning, we will watch snow and some freezing rain move across southern and central Minnesota from a system to our south. This will be a plowable snow for areas of southern Minnesota (potentially as far north as the Twin Cities) and south into Iowa. The best chances of freezing rain look to be from the Minnesota River Valley southward.

Especially from Marshall to the southern Twin Cities we'll watch the potential of at least 2-5" of snow that will impact travel. While freezing rain accumulation is likely to be under a tenth of an inch, that will certainly be enough to cause slick conditions.


Freezing Drizzle Or Light Snow Possible Friday Night Into Saturday

Another weak system moving through the upper Midwest Friday Night into Saturday will bring the potential of some mixed precipitation/snowflakes/freezing drizzle to the region. Right now only minor ice accumulations would be expected, however, any icing would cause slick spots and potentially hazardous driving conditions.


Weekend Outlook

As we look toward the weekend, we'll be watching that morning snow on Friday - otherwise, mainly cloudy skies are expected. Saturday will feature the mixed precip/snow/freezing drizzle chance. After that, we'll stay cloudy into Sunday. Highs Friday into the weekend will be in the low to mid-30s.


Watching A Potential Storm Next Week

As we head into the Monday Night through Wednesday time frame, it appears we will be watching a significant system impacting the region with rain, ice, and snow. Models have been... somewhat all over the place, to put it kindly, swinging from one extreme (heavy snow in the metro) to the other (more of a rainmaker with some lighter snow at the end). This comes with different iterations of the track of the low. Nothing is set in stone with this system - it is several days out - so just be aware of inclement weather heading into next week and we'll continue to fill you in on the details over the next few days as things hopefully become a little clearer.


Meteorologists In The Minnesota Senate
By Paul Douglas

Meteorologists on the floor of the Minnesota Senate? Yep. In fact there are now 2 of them, which is (I believe) unique among state legislatures, nationwide. Congratulations to Nicole Mitchell, who is also a veteran, serving District 47 (Woodbury/Oakdale) and Rob Kupec, representing District 4 (Moorhead/Detroit Lakes). My friend and weather/climate legend, Dr. Mark Seeley said it best. "Coming to the political arena from meteorology, I am sure that both Nicole and Rob will be humble lawmakers, but speak well for science." Yes.

After yesterday's cataclysmic INCH of snow, travel conditions improve today with glimmers of sun. ECMWF keeps the next round of snow south of MSP Friday, but NOAA models hint at a couple of inches. Once again the metro may be on the northern edge.

Another inch or two is possible Saturday. The next (big) storm next Tuesday may be warm enough for mostly-rain in the metro area, with over 10" possible north/west of St. Cloud. Nicole and Rob over in St. Paul may have different ideas, eh?


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

THURSDAY: Some sun, slush tonight. Wake up 11. High 30. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

FRIDAY: Potential for coating - 2" slush. Wake up 28. High 33. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind E 7-12 mph.

SATURDAY: Another inch of snow? Wake up 29. High 33. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy and dry. Wake up 30. High 35. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

MONDAY: Icy mix arrives late. Wake up 27. High 34. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind SE 10-20 mph.

TUESDAY: Mostly rain metro. Snow central/west. Wake up 31. High 37. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind SE 15-25 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Light snow, light accumulation MSP? Wake up 30. High 33. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind S 10-20 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
December 8th

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 53 minutes, and 2 seconds
*Daylight LOST Since Yesterday: 1 minute and 3 seconds

*Shortest Daylight Of The Year: December 21st (8 hours, 46 minutes, 10 seconds)
*Latest Sunrise: December 30th-January 5th (7:51 AM)
*Earliest Sunset: December 5th-December 13th (4:31 PM)


This Day in Weather History
December 8th

1995: A strong low pressure system passes across Northern Minnesota, producing considerable snowfall in advance of an intense cold front. Snowfall of five to eight inches was common with eight inches recorded at New London and Alexandria. The most snow reported was 9.6 inches in Mound. The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport received 7.1 inches. The cold front moved through by late morning on the 8th as temperatures dropped 20 degrees within an hour of the frontal passage. Strong northwest winds of 20 to 40 mph immediately behind the front resulted in severe blowing and drifting and white-out conditions in many areas. Over 150 schools closed early or cancelled classes. Many businesses closed early as well. The Governor ordered state offices closed at noon on the 8th, sending thousands of state employees home. Over 100 outbound flights were cancelled at the Twin Cities International Airport, but the airport remained open.

1876: The term 'Blizzard' is first used in the government publication 'Monthly Weather Review.'

1804: John Sayer at the Snake River Fir Trading Post near present day Pine City mentions: 'Cold day. Thermometer 10 degrees below freezing.' Lewis and Clark also noted this cold wave at their winter quarters in Ft. Mandan, North Dakota near present day Bismarck.


National Weather Forecast

A system working through the middle of the nation on Thursday will bring showers, storms, snow, and ice. We'll also watch rain and snow in the western United States.

Heavy rain continues in the Tennessee Valley, with over 3" possible for some through Friday. The heaviest snow will be in the Cascades.


Scientists finally know why people get more colds and flu in winter

More from CNN: "A chill is in the air, and you all know what that means — it's time for cold and flu season, when it seems everyone you know is suddenly sneezing, sniffling or worse. It's almost as if those pesky cold and flu germs whirl in with the first blast of winter weather. Yet germs are present year-round — just think back to your last summer cold. So why do people get more colds, flu and now Covid-19 when it's chilly outside? In what researchers are calling a scientific breakthrough, scientists behind a new study may have found the biological reason we get more respiratory illnesses in winter. It turns out the cold air itself damages the immune response occurring in the nose."

'One Mississippi...' How Lightning Shapes The Climate

More from NPR: "Evan Gora has never been struck by lightning, but he's definitely been too close for comfort. "When it's very, very close, it just goes silent first," says Gora, a forest ecologist who studies lightning in tropical forests. "That's the concussive blast hitting you. I'm sure it's a millisecond, but it feels super, super long ... And then there's just an unbelievable boom and flash sort of all at the same time. And it's horrifying." But if you track that lightning strike and investigate the scene, as Gora does, there's usually no fire, no blackened crater, just a subtle bit of damage that a casual observer could easily miss. "You need to come back to that tree over and over again over the next 6-18 months to actually see the trees die," Gora says."

Renewables to overtake coal and become world's biggest source of electricity generation by 2025, IEA says

More from CNBC: "Renewables are on course to overtake coal and become the planet's biggest source of electricity generation by the middle of this decade, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA's Renewables 2022 report, published Tuesday, predicts a major shift within the world's electricity mix at a time of significant volatility and geopolitical tension. "The first truly global energy crisis, triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has sparked unprecedented momentum for renewables," it said."Renewables [will] become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025, surpassing coal," it added."


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- D.J. Kayser